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Climbing the MountainThe Scientific Biography of Julian Schwinger$
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Jagdish Mehra and Kimball Milton

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198527459

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198527459.001.0001

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Custodian of quantum field theory

Custodian of quantum field theory

(p.371) 11 Custodian of quantum field theory
Climbing the Mountain



Oxford University Press

Julian Schwinger had now scaled the peak of quantum electrodynamics (QED), not once, but three times, the last time by inventing a new approach to any quantum-mechanical system, the quantum dynamical principle. Now the task of the field theorist, as was already apparent in the 1930s, was to build upon this success of QED and apply the powerful machinery invented to understand the strong and weak nuclear interactions. This chapter describes the story of Schwinger's work in the central period between the quantum field theory revolutions of the late 1940s and the early 1970s, roughly during the period 1957 through 1965. Schwinger's work on the phenomenological field theory, dispersion relations, spin and the TCP theorem, Euclidean field theory, gauge invariance and mass, quantum gravity, and magnetic charge are examined.

Keywords:   quantum electrodynamics, quantum field theory, phenomenological field theory, dispersion relations, spin, TCP theorem, Euclidean field theory, quantum gravity, magnetic charge

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